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Surprise guests invited for Uhuru’s swearing-in

Saturday November 25 2017
preps

On going preparation for the inauguration of ceremony of the President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kasarani Stadium in this picture taken on November 24, 2017. PHOTO | ANDREW KILONZI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SUNDAY NATION TEAM

As President Uhuru Kenyatta will be celebrating with his counterparts after being sworn in to start his second term, there will be surprise guests who will also be taking part in the State luncheon among the local and international dignitaries.

Some will have been invited to the luncheon because of their past association with President Kenyatta while others will be there purposely because of their exemplary achievements.

GITHERI MAN

Among the invited guests are Martin Kamotho, also known as githeri man, John Gichuhi Macharia, the disabled voter who was caught on camera voting using his foot, the 2017 top KCPE pupil Goldalyn Kakuya and her parents Harrison Webbo Tanga and Mathilda Jerono.

Also in the list will be two musicians who composed and sang Jubilee campaign theme songs Ben Githae and Kericho’s 23-year-old Florence Jepng’etich, bloggers Samson Ogolla and Gordon Opiyo, an elderly woman from Nandi, Ms Cherotich Tallam, who is said to have predicted Jubilee win, as will also be President Kenyatta’s nursery school teacher, Madam Lorna Kageliza Chayuga.

For some of them, it will be their first time to set foot in the State House compound while for Kakuya and her parents, it will be the second time in less than a week as they will be making a return to the house on the hill after having been invited by President Kenyatta on Friday.

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As is custom, the President and the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will host a State luncheon for the Heads of State and invited guests at State House after the swearing-in at Kasarani Sports Stadium.

NETANYAHU

As of Saturday, government officials were talking of some 26 heads of state and government who have either confirmed their attendance in person or indicated they will send a representative.

Among the heads of government expected at the inauguration will be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Times of Israel, the PM will fly in on the morning of the swearing-in day and leave later the same day.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, too, has confirmed his attendance, with the government remaining tight-lipped on the identities of the others.

The Sh300 million fete will be held at the 60,000-seater Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, with big screens mounted outside the state-of-the-art facility to allow 40,000 more to watch the event live outside the stadium.

Seven other presidential candidates in the annulled August 8 election and the October 26 repeat poll, including his arch-rival Raila Odinga, and their running mates, have been invited to the event.

President Kenyatta, sources said, will focus his inaugural second-term speech on a rapid economic recovery plan.

ECONOMIC TEAM

Four times in the last three weeks, President Kenyatta has met his Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich-led economic team to plan the new path.

“The President held a meeting with his economics team as part of his consultations before he outlines his plan to continue the country on its growth trajectory when he addresses the nation on Tuesday,” State House said in a statement on Friday.

He, on the same day, met United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) secretary-general Dr Mukhisa Kituyi – a former Trade minister in the Kibaki government.

And, as President Kenyatta takes the oath of office for his second and final term, it will be about retracing history while also trying to showcase colour that has been the Jubilee campaigns.

When Jomo Kenyatta, the president’s father, was first sworn in in 1964, Africa Inland Church (AIC) church pastor, Reverend Timothy Kamau, offered the State the Bible that was used during the ceremony. And, as such, the reverend became close to the Kenyattas.

CLOSE RELATIONS

During Rev Kamau’s burial in 2010 that was also attended by retired president Daniel arap Moi, Uhuru, who was then deputy Prime Minister, lifted the lid on the close relations between the Kenyattas and the late Kamau.

And this week, in keeping with that tradition, AIC presented two Bibles to the National Archives which were to be delivered to the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Ms Anne Amadi for the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.

While writing to National Archives the director of Biblia Broadcasting Network based in Kijabe Rev Dr Christopher arap Mutai said the donation of the two Bibles was in line with the church’s role in the first president’s swearing-in ceremony.

“This follows the historical donation of the Bible by Rev Timothy Kamau of AIC Biblia Husema Kijabe for the swearing-in of the first President of Kenya.”
Chief Registrar Ms Amadi said they are yet to decide on the Bibles to use for the Tuesday ceremony.

INSTRUMENTS OF POWER

“We have not received the Bibles from AIC or National Archives. We have our Bibles at the judiciary so that is not a problem. If they come we can consider them,” she said.
The events company Wanderjoy has been involved in a number of State momentous events.

They include the July 2015 State visit by former US President Barack Obama which coincided with the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit at UN Office in Nairobi, February 2017 Slovakian President Andrej Kiska’s visit as well as the June 2014   Kenya Air Force Golden Jubilee celebrations at Moi Air Base.

Mo Sound Events Company, another big name in the events industry, has been contracted to provide the public address system.

In swearing-in Mr Kenyatta, he will not be handed the sword of the Commander-in-Chief and a copy of the constitution as happened in 2013.

Section 14(2) of the Assumption of Office of the President Act provides that the handing over of the two objects – the instruments of power and authority – “shall not apply where the incumbent is re-elected into office.”

Reports by Wanjohi Githae, Patrick Lang’at and Walter Menya

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